Sep 27, 2013

The Rebirth of Education

Wikimedia Commons
Lant Pritchett argues for more autonomy, freedom, and descentralization in education systems in developing countries. He descrives possible models:
  • Community-controlled schools, in which groups of parents, affiliated with the most local level of government, are free to open their own schools (subject to some requirements) and attract students to the school. 
  • Private providers, both for profit and nonprofit, to provide schooling, with some formula for how resources mobilized from the public sector might follow the student.
  • Schools under small governmental jurisdictions that would not quite allow school-by-school autonomy but something very close to it (an approach that is not the typical “decentralization”). 
  • Charter systems in which schools are permitted and regulated by the government but allowed much greater autonomy.
I could not agree more. Some of those models, such as community-controlled schools, have been implemented to some degree in countries like Guatemala, for example. Unfortunately they have been reversed, mainly because of the political cycle. What makes those programs sustainable and resilient across time is as important as what makes them implemented in the first place.    

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